A social media hashtag has been launched in Germany, #MerkelSommer, to criticize Angela Merkel’s handling of refugee policy during this summer of terrorist attacks in Germany. Critics are saying Merkel has blood on her hands for allowing refugees fleeing from countries like Syria into Germany.
In 2015, Germany allowed more 1 million refugees into their country, far and away the most liberal policy in the world. Contrast this to the current debate in the United States over Obama’s plan to let in 10,000 refugees.
Merkel will ramp up security, but stands by her refugee policy
Merkel responded to the recent wave of terrorism, calling it “shocking, depressing, and terrifying,” and promising to increase intelligence and security budgets to thwart attacks in the future. On the other hand, Merkel argues, the terrorists win if Germany shuts down in borders to those seeking refuge.
“They want to divide our unity, our cooperation, they want to harm our life. They want to prevent our openness to welcoming people. They spread hate between cultures and also among religions.”
Merkel fired bad at her critics and urged Germany not to enact a politics of fear.
The suicide bomber who attacked a music festival in Ansbach, Germany was scheduled to be reported in 30 days after being rejected for asylum. Merkel recognized the ability of ISIS to sneak in refugees, but argued for tighter screening rather than limiting well-meaning refugees fleeing for their own safety and survival.
It’s not just Germany
Merkel’s comments comes in the face of a wave of terrorism that has hit Europe in recent months, which has lead to a rise in nationalist, anti-immigrant sentiments throughout the continent. This nationalistic fervor played a major role in the recent Brexit vote when UK citizens voted to leave the European Union. The vote was heavily weighted towards older people, who poll more conservative and more concerned with terrorism.
Following the Brexit vote, there have been shockwaves throughout Europe, as leaders have suggested interest in following the United Kingdom’s lead and exiting the EU. The European Union’s open immigration policy has many worried terrorism will continue to spread through Europe.